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Israel ‘deliberately’ blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza, Oxfam says

Palestinians wait to receive food during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 13, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

A global anti-poverty charity has denounced Israel for intentionally preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in violation of international humanitarian law.

Oxfam said in a report on Monday that Israel continues to “systematically and deliberately block and undermine any meaningful international humanitarian response” in the Palestinian territory.

The independent non-governmental organization further noted that the Tel Aviv regime is openly flouting an emergency ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 26 to ensure the delivery of basic services and essential humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, and is failing its legal responsibility to protect people in the land it occupies.

“The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course; but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” Oxfam Middle East and North Africa Director Sally Abi Khalil said.

“Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” he added.

Oxfam said that “unjustifiably inefficient” inspection rules were causing aid trucks trying to get into Gaza to be stuck in queues for 20 days on average.

It said that Israeli authorities arbitrarily reject “dual-use” items — civilian goods that also have potential military use such as backup generators and torches.

“The list of rejected items is overwhelming and ever-changing,” Oxfam said.

It argued that Israeli officials once rejected water bags and water testing kits in an Oxfam shipment without providing any reason for their decision, before they later permitted entry.

The group also denounced “attacks on aid workers, humanitarian facilities and aid convoys” and “access restrictions” for relief staff, particularly to northern Gaza.

Oxfam noted that 2,874 trucks entered Gaza in February, which represented “20% of the daily average.”

According to the anti-poverty charity, some 1.7 million Palestinians, 75% of Gaza’s population, are at risk of famine.

“The conditions we have observed in Gaza are beyond catastrophic,” Oxfam said in its report.

Israel waged its brutal US-backed war on the Gaza Strip on October 7 after the Hamas resistance movement carried out its historic operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 31,645 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 73,676 others.

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